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National League East
NEW YORK METS: Amazins clinch 6th National League East title, and first in 9 seasons.
This year's division race is over!
On Saturday, Matt Harvey and the Amazins captured the club's 6th ever National League East flag with a decisive 10-2 victory over the Reds in Cincinnati. The 2nd place Nationals, meanwhile, were home playing into extra, inconsequential innings against the Phillies.
Lucas Duda ignited an early dugout celebration with a grand slam home run in the first inning. The Captain David Wright then stamped an exclamation point on Saturday's clincher with a 3-run home run in the 9th.
Jeurys Familia closed out the 9th, and the rest, as they say is history.
THE DUDA of FLUSHING:
There's been no disguising Lucas Duda's struggles this season. Through July 24th, he totaled a mere 12 home runs through 94 games played, with 7 of those coming in May.
On July 25th, with the trade deadline looming and the Mets still within striking distance of the Nationals, Duda embarked on a very timely 11 for 28 (.393) stretch with 9 home runs and 12 RBI that ran though August 2nd. At a minimum, he (along with Curtis Granderson) helped legitimize the Mets end of July standing, and arguably forced the front office into making enhancements.
He then went on to hit just one home run over his next 26 games.
This weekend, Duda finally began punishing pitchers again. The pain he's generating couldn't have come at a better time. Moving forward, the hope is his stroke stays with him through October.
- Thursday - 2 for 3, 2 doubles, 2 RBI.
- Friday - 2 for 4, 2 home runs, 6 RBI.
- Saturday - 1 for 3, grand slam, 4 RBI.
- Stay tuned for Sunday.
The Dark Knight Took a Look in the Mirror and Dictated His Own Limitations.
The circumstances surrounding the Dark Knight were odd to say the least. Saturday's start flew in the face of a hard 180 innings limit supposedly prescribed by Dr. Andrews.
Matt Harvey now stands at 183.1 innings for the season. At this point, it's safe to finally assume Matt Harvey, Scott Boras, Dr. Andrews, and Sandy Alderson are operating under an agreed upon plan, right?
That's precisely what we thought back in April, through the dog days of summer, and right up until the moment Scott Boras intervened in a manner similar to which he polluted the 2009 WS with extraneous news regarding his client Alex Rodriguez
Most expected a short start Saturday. I thought he'd go 4 innings, or 5 at the very most. After allowing a double and striking out 2 batters in the 6th, Harvey insisted Coach Collins let him start the 7th inning.
With 2-outs and 2 runners on, Terry Collins finally gave him the hook. Harvey threw 97 pitches with an impressive 73 (75%) going for strikes. He allowed 2 earned runs on 9 hits, issued no walks, and fanned 6 batters before yielding to reliever Addison Reed. Matt improved his season record to 13-7 while his 2.80 ERA remained unchanged.
Harvey, however, saved his best pitch for the post-game interviews. He expressed concern, and maybe even remorse in the aftermath of his agent's intervention, and perhaps through Saturday's start, felt it necessary to re-establish his standing within the eyes of his team mates and fans.
Moving forward, he might get one tune up appearance before season's end, then pitch one game verses the Mets first round opponent, and one game per round thereafter.
His season previously consisted of 8 games played in early April.
The Captain David Wright Appropriately Strikes Final Blow.
David Wright returned to action on August 24th after extensive rest, recovery, and rehabilitation designed to help manage spinal stenosis.
In 25 games back, he's gone 32 for 105 (.305) with 7 doubles, 4 home runs and 10 RBI. As the longest tenured Mets player, it was only appropriate he cap off Saturday's clincher with a mammoth 3-run home run in the 9th inning.
After the game, he said everything has gone exactly the way Sandy Alderson and ownership promised him they would.
It took Wright 9 long years to return at this point.
Welcome back Captain. This is when your experience will be needed most.